Is It Safe to Paint While Pregnant?
Concerned moms to be ask us all the time about painting while pregnant. This questions usually comes up around the time when they start getting their nurseries ready. The short answer is, have someone else paint the nursery. The long answer is a bit complicated. There haven’t been any conclusive studies done to show just how much exposure to paint is toxic. One thing for sure though is limiting your exposure to it is a must.
There are 3 kinds of paint; latex, oil and enamel. It is hard to gauge the toxicity of these paints because there is simply no way to measure actual exposure. Paints have different chemicals and at varying levels. There is the risk of lead and mercury exposure. Inhaling these can lead to lead poisoning and mental retardation.
Latex paints manufactured before 1991 used small amounts of mercury as a preservative. There is concern that mercury could present a health hazard, so mercury is no longer found in latex paints.
If you must paint follow the guidelines below. Fumes from latex paints are not felt to be specifically risky to a developing baby.
- Paint in a well-ventilated area – make sure all the windows are open, turn on all your fans
- Avoid using a ladder to prevent any accidental falls
- Scraping/sanding must be completely avoided. This is decrease the chances of you inhaling poisonous matter.
- Wear protective clothing
- Do not eat in the same area that you are painting